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Golf: Jon Rahm wins Sentry Tournament of Champions as Collin Morikawa ties unwanted PGA Tour record

Collin Morikawa held a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Photo / AP

Jon Rahm started the bold new year on the PGA Tour by coming from seven shots behind to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Monday (NZ time) with plenty of help from Collin Morikawa, who had a spectacular wipeout even by Maui standards.

Holding a six-shot lead after 54 holes and starting his final round in fine fashion, Morikawa had gone 67 holes without a bogey on the Plantation Course before it all fell apart with his wedges and his putter – the two areas that had carried him to his commanding lead at the start of the day.

Rahm was six shots behind on the 13th hole at Kapalua when the Spaniard ran off three straight birdies and a 12-foot eagle putt, before a birdie on the 18th gave him a 10-under 63.

It was after the 13th hole that things fell apart for Morikawa. From 25 yards short of the 14th green, he blasted out of a bunker and over the green. He muffed a wedge from a tight lie with the grain of grass into him on the par-5 15th. His wedge to the 16th didn’t go far enough and rolled some 60 feet back into the fairway.

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Scoring a bogey on all three holes, the 25-year-old American looked to be in a state of shock as he walked down the 17th fairway, leading by as many as seven shots during the final round and suddenly finding himself two shots behind and running out of hope. While he finished the round with a birdie on the 18th to post a one-under final round, it wasn’t enough against the surging Spaniard’s 10-under final round.

Morikawa wound up tying a PGA Tour record for losing the largest 54-hole lead at six shots. Seven other players have done that, most recently Dustin Johnson in the fall of 2017 at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Rahm finished at 27-under to win by two shots over Morikawa.

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It was the second such collapse by Morikawa in a little more than a year. He closed out 2021 at the Hero World Challenge and had a five-shot lead with a chance to reach No 1 in the world with a victory. He shot 76 in his final round and finished fifth.

It was a small measure of redemption for Rahm, who last year finished at 33-under par at Kapalua which was a PGA Tour record that lasted only a few seconds. Cameron Smith finished at 34-under to win by one.

The Spaniard now has won in each of his seven full years on the PGA.

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